Eight people shot to death in four locations near Ohio's Adams/Pike County line
PIKE COUNTY, Ohio (WKRC) - Eight family members were shot to death in what appeared to be execution-style, near the Adams/Pike County line on April 22.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office said the victims were seven adults and one juvenile male in the Rhoden family. The AG office said all the victims were shot in the head. One of the women was a mother, shot in her bed next to the 4-day-old infant. No one has been taken into custody and police are actively searching for a shooter. Officials also ruled out the possibility that any of the victims committed suicide.
Three small children survived the shootings; a 4-day-old, a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old child.
Police said they were working with four crime scenes. The bodies were found in four locations in the Union Hill Road area. A number of law enforcement agencies were on the scene, including Adams and Pike County Sheriff's investigators. Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigations was there. BCI's special prosecutor Woody Breyer arrived shortly before noon. Officials expected to be on the scene all night Friday into Saturday.
Pastor Phil Fulton, from the Union Hill Church, spoke to Rich Jaffe about the Rhoden family, "They all attended church at one time. They kind of dropped by the wayside probably three, four years ago, maybe. I would always see -- out, very friendly, outgoing person. The kids seemed friendly, always you know, just good kids, seemed like."
Fulton said his phone started "burning up" after the news got out, "I thought I'd come up an offer our facility for family, maybe the officials would need a command post set up, so I come up to offer our support, prayers and whatever we can do to help the family in this situation."He said it was tragic that violence like this had come to their county.
In a press conference Friday evening, April 22, the Pike County Sheriff and Attorney General Mike DeWine again spoke to the media. They said death notifications were being made and there had been no more victims or scenes identified. Officials said over 30 people were interviewed but there were no "persons of interest" in the case. Interviews were conducted locally and as far away as Chillicothe.
The 911 call came out just before 8 p.m. Friday. It reported two men inside a home where two people were later found deceased by deputies.
Due to the investigation, eastbound SR-32 in that part of Adams County was down to one lane. The road has since reopened. Peebles High School and Peebles Elementary School were on lockdown as a precaution. Both lockdowns were lifted Friday afternoon.
Attorney General Mike DeWine said he expected another update Saturday, April 23, at noon.
Anyone who has any information or tips for police can call 1-855-BCI-OHIO (1-855-224-6446).
CLICK HERE to watch the full press conference Friday afternoon, April 22.
CLICK HERE to watch the full press conference Friday evening, April 22.
Relatives of the victims of Pike County murders shocked, saddened - Angenette Levy